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10(01)

Thu, 31 Jul 2008
nostromo in hello-kitty land, day 13 (0 comments)
last day for me in the land of hello kitty, shrines, temples and nekomimi-maids. i wish i would have booked three weeks. but my feet hurt, i have blisters on my toes and heels, my left lower leg hurts with every step i do, my shoes are pretty worn out, and i'm just very tired, and every muscle of my body is tensed up. so two weeks of sightseeing are a bit exhausting. nonetheless it was worth it. i forgot to add some comments on yesterday's bLog-entry. what i had for lunch (day 12, picture [99]) yesterday was eight pieces of sushi, and four pieces of maki for 530YEN (that's about 3.15EUR), some "hello kitty" cookies for 200YEN (that's about 1.20EUR), chocolate for 89YEN (52cent), and a can of "kirin chuhi" for 201YEN, which is a mix of "syochu" (alcohol distilled from either sweet potato, or rice) and lemon. today's program started with a visit to the "tsukiji wholesale market"[001-034] where one can find vegetables and all kind of sea-food and fish. in fact this is the biggest fish market in the world (at least my guide says so). in the hall where they sell fish there were several animals i had never seen before in my life. a walk just from one side to the other side of the hall took me about 15mins. so the area is really really huge. inside they chop off heads and tails, disembowel fish, and cut it into handy pieces, which they sell afterwards. unfortunately i only like sweet things in the morning, so i did not buy or eat any fresh fish. the area is pretty busy and quite dangerous for incautious tourists, since there are driving all kind of vehicles to transport the fish from one place to the other. so there was a constant movement throughout the entire inside and outside of the halls. i went on and was searching for the nearest underground station, when i accidentally found the "hama-rikyu"[036-083] gardens. notice the ticket-number as shown in picture[037]. "hama-rikyu" was a very beautiful garden with loads of ponds, bridges, trees and a tea house[061-073] where they perform a tea ceremony. i went inside the house and got cold tea (with foam on top of it) and a little cake. additionally i was handed out a paper that describes in detail all the steps to be taken to perform the ceremony correctly (in english!). i really tried my best, and i hope i did perform not that bad. the tea was excellent, and has a unique taste - definitely recommendable. on my way to my next stop i passed by several skyscrapers[086-098], and i was fascinated by the reflections and geometries, so there are a few experimental pictures included. again another attraction i found by accident kept me from getting on the underground train. this time there was some activity in the "shidome sio site"[099-119]. i especially liked the "monkey-boy"[105-106] since he really enjoyed what he was doing. in a toy shop i found another "studio ghibli"[112-118] corner as almost every toy store has. japanese love "hello kitty" and "studio ghibli" stuff. and so do i, so i went in and took some pictures. i bought some white chocolate again. this time a "dars" bar for 98YEN (about 60cent). and then, finally, i made it to my planned destination, namely the "tokyo tower"[125-155], a copy of the eiffel tower, but 33 metres taller. i enjoyed the view over tokyo and another "hello kitty" souvenir shop inside the tower. then i met with Kaze_ again, since i asked him if he wants to join me to the shrine i did not find yesterday. he said yes, so we went there together. so i finally made it to the "imado jinja shrine"[166-179], dedicated to the "maneki neko", better known as the "lucky cat", "welcoming cat", or "fortune cat". Kaze_ and i love cats, and there were many cats (though not living ones). i bought two cat-emas[178] wrote my wishes on one of them, and hung it next to the other emas. the other one i took with me as a souvenir. i'm glad i went there, and this time to the right shrine. afterwards Kaze_ and i had some japanese sweets, called "anmitsu"[182], that's fruits, small cubes of agar jelly, "azuki beans" (the black things), "azuki beans paste" (the brown thing), and black syrup. and came by the three metres high lantern again, as seen in picture[042] on day 08. this time i took a photo from the bottom of the lantern[181]. then we went to a restaurant where i got sake[183] and "shogayaki"[181] ("shoga" is ginger, "yaki" is to fry) with pork. as usual very delicious! i really will miss the variety of japanese food. later we went to a bookstore where i bought some cat manga. random fact about tokyo: during my tokyo trip there was not a single accident on the street. i think this is due to the fact that the people are simply polite and friendly in every aspect of their live, and this also includes road traffic. i already mentioned in an earlier facts-section that pedestrians and cyclists share the pavement but there was not a single scolding. thanks for reading my bLog. tokyo, i will miss you...

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